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Author’s log, Fall 2020; Jinn

“With love and good will.”      My older brother Robert gave me a copy of “Tales of the Arabian Nights” back in the early 1980’s, and the Jinn were immediately added to my ongoing D&D campaign. Jinn are genies. Who hasn’t heard of genies? Even if your experience doesn’t extend beyond Ali Baba Bunny, […]

Author’s log, Summer 2020; Inspiration

     After four years of writing four novels and fully outlining four more, a calm is overcoming my muse this summer. It is not a fit of writer’s block, in fact, quite the opposite. Nor is it some furor poeticus that will result in yet another stress-squozen pandemic novel.      I believe the […]

Winery Log, Summer 2020; Oaking the wine

We don’t have room for traditional oak barrels. Tiran & Cavel from my novel Children of Breton would probably be annoyed by that.  Just wait until Barbin Fortier of The Changeling hears this. He’ll have kittens. So how do you oak your wine if you don’t have barrels? Quite simple, really. And lots of folks […]

Vineyard log, Spring 2020; Bloom Damage

What a May frost does to Cabernet clusters. The healthy one set fruit nicely. The dead one will try again next season. We were lucky compared to some vineyards Young, healthy grape flower buds. What frost & freeze damage does to flower buds. And what a surviving grape flower bloom looks like.

Winery log, Spring 2020; Short changed bottling

Small wineries don’t have the luxury of large staffs to do multiple things every day. While everyone can probably understand an organization comes together fully at a busy time like harvest, at a small winery the rest of the year is more of a juggle. When a pandemic removes all staff and volunteers, it can […]

Author Log, Winter 2020; Feudal

Pruning in the vineyard is one of the most idyllic times in my vigneron lifestyle. It is as close to my escapist hermit island as I can get and still have a healthy family life. In the brief hours between a day’s farm work and a night’s sleep, though, Wendy & I often escape into […]

Winery Log, Fall 2019; Twenty-one

While lugging this year’s freshly-picked grapes into the cooler, a family member complained about having to heft the grapes an additional time for weighing. Given the number to times we already have to touch those grapes, it struck me as amusing, from both a farm work and wine-grower perspective. First off, vineyards are farming, with […]